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What are the most important parts of an estate plan?

On Behalf of | Feb 28, 2023 | Firm News |

Many people think of a will and an estate plan as being synonymous. In fact, to create a plan that will protect them, their property and their loved ones, most people need more than just a will.

If you are creating an estate plan, you will want one that is tailored to your needs and those of your loved ones. Your plan won’t look exactly like anyone else’s plan.

Important elements

With that said, there are certain types of documents that are common in Indiana estate plans, and that you will want to consider for yours. We will discuss several of them below:

  • Will: Your will expresses your wishes for how your assets will be distributed after your death — and not only does it express those wishes, it also makes those wishes legally enforceable. It can also designate a personal representative who will have the power to carry out your wishes. Your will may also include a letter of intent, expressing your wishes about other matters not documented in the will.
  • Trust: Trusts are so highly adaptable that they deserve many more posts on their own. A trust can go into effect during your life or after your death. While trusts can be adapted to many purposes, they are highly effective at protecting assets for yourself and your loved ones.
  • Designation of beneficiaries: Some types of assets can pass to your loved ones without having to go through a will or trust. These may include life insurance proceeds, retirement accounts, real estate and more. One aspect of your estate plan should be to make sure you have designated the beneficiaries who will receive ownership of these assets upon your death.
  • Powers of attorney: These documents allow you to appoint a trusted loved one to make important decisions on your behalf should you be unable to do so because of injury or illness. You can make a power of attorney document for financial decisions, health care decisions and more.
  • Guardianship: If you have young children, your estate plan should include a designation of who you want to act as legal guardian for your kids, should you and the other parent pass away or become incapacitated. Even if you don’t have young children, it may be a good idea to choose a trusted loved one to act as your guardian should you become incapacitated.

Indiana attorneys help people to create an estate plan that is perfectly suited to their needs and wishes.